Apple cider, apple pies, apple butter and lots and lots of bags and crates of apples could be seen at fall festivals in Hartford and Lordstown this weekend.
This year's installment was especially noteworthy in Hartford, as it is marking its 50th anniversary.
Suzanne Burns, the first woman to serve as festival chair, said the inaugural festival was in 1964 at the Sharon Speedway. Three years later, it moved to the township center where it remains today.
Burns said residents Ken Kepner and Ralph Stewart, a township trustee, started the festival and it has grown ever since with the help of the fire department and residents.
''This really brings the community together every year. This is a small-town community with a lot of heart. People want to come back for this festival. It's like Hartford's reunion. The kids, the military and families are all here,'' Burns said.
The festival has been held every year on the third weekend in September.
The Lordstown Lions Club made its popular apple cider at the weekend’s Lordstown Apple Cider Festival. Here, Brent Rupnik of Brookfield places apples in the contraption.
Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland
Ben Anspach, groundsman for the event, said the biggest draws are the parade, queen contest, arm wrestling competition, musical entertainment and - of course - the apples.
''Everyone sells different apple products. The churches have their own booths where they sell apples,'' he said.
Betty Burnett and Mary Samuels, both of Hartford Community Church, were among the many church members who baked 238 pies for the event; they were gone by the second day of the festival.
Meanwhile in Lordstown, Lions Club members Troy Cash, Greg Fisher, Roy Dixon and others spent the day making apple cider with 12 crates of apples each weighing 1,000 pounds.
Fisher said club members use a special apple press that is always a big hit with the public.
''Last year it broke down and the public was upset because they like to watch,'' he said.
Cash said the cider comes straight from the apple.
''It's good, pasteurized straight from the apple. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away,'' Fisher said.
By Saturday afternoon they had gone through more than half of the crates.
Cash said while the cider and the food are sold by the fire department, local churches hold dinners and residents enjoy the rides and games. A few local teachers had agreed to sit in the dunking booth.
The parade was held on Sunday with grand marshals Glen and Caren Chaney, owners of the former Chaney's IGA.